Re: LXX and MT (was Geezer Patriarchs)

Karen G. Jensen (
Wed, 12 Nov 1997 23:52:42 -0600

Wed, 12 Nov 1997 00:13:31 -0600

Dick Fischer wrote (and I'll take him seriously :-) )

>Karen wrote:
>>This was a reason given for preferring the Septuagint, and its longer
>>preflood and postflood chronologies (each about 1000 years longer, because
>>the pregenerative years of each patriarch had 100 additional years). But
>>now we know that the Dead Sea Scrolls included copies Hebrew manuscripts
>>like those the Masoretes used, dating from 100 BC. The scribal differences
>>were miniscule. So we don't have to use the "corrupt" translation (LXX);
>>we can trust the Hebrew text, which we still usually call the Masoretic.
>I was unaware that a copy of Genesis was found among the Dead Sea scrolls.

As far as I know, they did not find a complete scroll of Genesis among the
Dead Sea Scrolls. The early chapters which we are discussing were missing.
The accuracy of transmission, however, was firmly established.

>It's too bad someone didn't inform Luke - how embarrassing to be responsible
>for fowling up the New Testament by trusting a "corrupt" text. Where was the
>ASA in the first century? Instead of just keeping the world abreast of the
>best texts, we could have helped out the New Testament authors, all of whom
>quoted the Septuagint.

Jesus quoted OT passages with LXX wording, and didn't make any issue of it.
We don't have to either. My answer to the person who asked about Cainan in
Luke 3 is that I choose to use the Masoretic. The Dead Sea Scrolls
dismiss the popular claim that the LXX is "older" and therefore "better".
But you may use the LXX if you prefer it!

>Frankly (my dear), we have no idea of how "corrupt" the Septuagint might have
>been after only 300 years in circulation. The likelihood is that it was less
>corrupt to the NT authors then the Masoretic text is to us today.

Because 300 years is less than 3000? In our fallen world time does
increase the likelihood of "corruption"; "devolution" is more likely than
"evolution". But God has still preserved His Word for us.

Jesus said,
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. Mt.24:35